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Two DFL lawmakers ask for legislative auditor to review Southwest LRT project

Plus: MyPillow pulls ads from Fox; Sunisa Lee looking forward to college in the fall; being a person of color in  small-town Midwest; and more.

Southwest Light Rail construction on Excelsior Boulevard in Hopkins.
Southwest Light Rail construction on Excelsior Boulevard in Hopkins.
Courtesy of MetroTransit

Asking questions. The Star Tribune’s Janet Moore report:Two DFL lawmakers from Minneapolis have asked the state Legislative Auditor’s Office to review cost overruns, delays and management of the $2 billion Southwest light-rail project. … In a letter Thursday, Rep. Frank Hornstein and Sen. Scott Dibble said their decision to request a probe ‘was prompted by recent developments in the project’s timeline and cost changes, particularly for the Kenilworth tunnel.’ … The 14.5-mile line, which would connect downtown Minneapolis with Eden Prairie and run through St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Minnetonka, was supposed to begin passenger service in 2023. But the opening of the state’s largest public works project has been pushed back due to construction challenges.”

Pillow fight! Adweek’s Jason Lynch reports:One of Fox News Channel’s biggest advertisers, MyPillow, said it will pull its ads from the network in retaliation for Fox News’ refusal to run a new spot tied to unproven claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. … MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell told the Wall Street Journal that he has informed his buyer to remove advertising from the network as a result of the dispute. … Fox News confirmed Lindell’s decision Tuesday night, telling Adweek in a statement, ‘It’s unfortunate Mr. Lindell has chosen to pause his commercial time on Fox News given the level of success he’s experienced in building his brand through advertising on the No. 1 cable news network.’”

More to admire about Suni Lee. The AP’s Wil Graves reports (via KARE): “Sunisa Lee’s life changed the second she placed a gold medal around her neck. The newly minted Olympic gymnastic champion’s plans, however, have not. … At least for now. … A day after a thrilling victory in the women’s all-around, Lee insisted she’s ready to go to start her college career at Auburn. Really ready. … When incoming freshmen are expected to report to their dorm rooms on The Plains on Aug. 11, Lee plans to be there. … ‘(College) just has been another one of my dreams and goals after the Olympics,’ the 18-year-old said Friday, less than 24 hours after edging Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade for the top spot on the podium. ‘So I feel like if I were to go pro, it would have to be like something like really good.’”

On the experiences of people of color in small Midwestern towns. In the Spokesman-Recorder, Jasmine Snow writes: “Being BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) in the Midwest can be a disheartening experience filled with discrimination, isolation, and a sense of otherness promoted by people both within and outside communities of color. For years, study after study has deemed cities and small towns throughout the Midwest to be some of the worst places for People of Color to live in the United States, if not the rest of the world. … Rural Midwestern towns, often famous for their imagined or exaggerated images of mom and apple pie—in other words, Whiteness—have always been home to People of Color. While there are often common, timeless threads in their experiences, the last few years of navigating the Trump presidency, the murder of George Floyd, and the COVID-19 pandemic have created a unique environment for BIPOC in the Heartland today.”

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In other news…

Buying the farm:Owners of Savage’s last farm pin redevelopment hopes on senior apartments” [Star Tribune]

Bad apple:Former state trooper receives probation for sending nude photos of woman to his phone” [KSTP]

Jobs alert:FedEx Ground plans to hire nearly 1,000 in Minneapolis, Maple Grove” [KARE]

Trade alert:Twins trade José Berríos to Blue Jays for two prospects” [Star Tribune]

About time:St. Paul Saints help add headstone to grave of Negro League team owner” [KMSP]